Provincial government eases lockdown restrictions, increasing operational hours of shops and allowing outdoor dining
The Sindh government on Sunday announced it was easing coronavirus restrictions, despite little progress in curbing the spread of the pandemic in the province, extending operational hours till 8 p.m. from June 7, while requiring all traders to obtain vaccination certificates for their staff to continue operations.
“It will be mandatory for all staff of shops to get vaccinated,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced in a press conference after a meeting of the provincial taskforce for coronavirus. He said the traders had two weeks to get their staff vaccinated, adding that authorities would start checking vaccination certificates of all opened shops after that time.
The meeting also decided to open educational institutions for grades 9-and-above from Monday, stressing that these grades would sit for promotional exams after July 15. Education Minister Saeed Ghani has stressed that the staff of all educational institutions must get vaccinated against the coronavirus prior to returning to in-person teaching.
Authorities also announced that they would allow wedding halls and outdoor gatherings to return to “normal” after two weeks. They said that beaches would reopen from today (June 7), adding that salons and barber shops would be allowed to reopen with SOPs. Restaurants, which were restricted to takeaways and deliveries, have been allowed to resume outdoor dining till 12 a.m. daily.
Earlier, during the taskforce meeting, authorities were informed that the COVID positivity ratio in Sindh had reduced from 12.45 percent on June 1 to 8.5 percent on June 5. However, the positivity in Karachi East remained at 18 percent; Karachi West 11 percent; and Malir and district South 10 percent. The briefing also noted that 79 patients were on ventilators in Karachi and two in Nawabshah.